Title

Long-term memory, sleep, and the spacing effect

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-22-2013

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Abstract

Many studies have shown that memory is enhanced when study sessions are spaced apart rather than massed. This spacing effect has been shown to have a lasting benefit to long-term memory when the study phase session follows the encoding session by 24 hours. Using a spacing paradigm we examined the impact of sleep and spacing gaps on long-term declarative memory for Swahili–English word pairs by including four spacing delay gaps (massed, 12 hours same-day, 12 hours overnight, and 24 hours). Results showed that a 12-hour spacing gap that includes sleep promotes long-term memory retention similar to the 24-hour gap. The findings support the importance of sleep to the long-term benefit of the spacing effect.